24 May, 2010  |   3 Comments

A Very Hearn Housewarming

How is one supposed to write these party recaps?
“Top Ten Tips to Throwing a Great Housewarming Party.”

I just want to tell you about what happened at my housewarming party, the good and the could-have-been-better and what I learned from it.

Is that okay with you?
Good? Good.

We love our new house so, so hard, that we were afraid to have a housewarming party.
Isn’t that silly?

Being too afraid our beautiful new home would somehow be taken from us that we put off an official housewarming party.
Well, it’s ours for now.
And it was time.
(Tip #1 Commit to a date for the party. Ha! See? I couldn’t help myself! Tips!)

We planned to grill sausages and shrimp.
We planned to open up all the doors and set the picnic table.

Cheddar corn chowderBut with the weather report claiming a high of 55 degrees and thunderstorms, grilling wasn’t on the menu.
Since I have two wee ones, well, neither was an elaborate dinner party.
(Tip #2 Know your limitations!)

I looked to the weather for inspiration.
I decided on a soup and panini bar.
I could make the soups in advance, just buy the bread, meat and cheese.
We could make it cozy, snuggly and fun.
(Tip #3 Decide on a theme.)

I’d done a design project for wine trade. This took care of party wine.
Friends brought a tasty punch. Beers in the cooler. Sodas in the fridge.
(Tip #4 Save money where you can.)

paninigrillWe bought deli roast turkey, salami, soppressata, and ham. We bought sliced Havarti, American, Cheddar, Monterey Jack and Provolone.

We took a baking sheet and filled it with ice, setting the plates with cheese and meat on top. This kept the meat and cheese cool for the remainder of the party.
(Tip #5 Don’t give your guests food poisoning.)

We filled a basket with bread and more bread. We set out pickles, pickled peppers and more pickled peppers. And although I’m not usually a buy it if you can make it lady, the pickled peppers added just a little extra something to make life grand.
(Tip #6 You don’t have to make everything.)

We served bocce pasta salad as a side dish.
We had planned to serve veggies, but we didn’t have time.
People still loved the soup and sandwiches.
(Tip #7 Sometimes everything doesn’t go according to plan and it’s okay.)

I realized around seven pm that I hadn’t taken any decent photos of the party — I was really disappointed, I mean, I wanted to share all the tastyfun with you guys. But I was busy enjoying my party.

Next time I’m totally hiring someone to take photos of my party. Someone being that bored 15 year old flipping through a magazine on my couch.
(Tip #8 Hire a high school student to take photos of your party.)

Our answer when folks asked what they could bring?
A plant. That was our answer.
And holy smokes, our guests delivered.

Housewarming orchids

Orchids, lavender, mint and basil.
Fuschias, rosemary, aloe and more orchids.

Like the rest of you, we don’t need more stuff, and are thrilled to help nurture our new plants.
There’s something about the gift of a plant that inspires you to take even better care of it.
I mean, how can I let Ben’s orchid die?
(Tip #9 Be honest when people ask you what they can bring.)

For dessert?
Chocolate cupcakes with strawberry frosting.
We put the pirate decorations on because, well, we had them.
Also, when I added the strawberries to the buttercream frosting,, the frosting broke, so I had to cover it up with something.

Strawberry chocolate cupcakes
(My new neighbor Michelle told me that you can re-set a broken buttercream frosting with a blowtorch. I remain skeptical. Doesn’t that sound like the saddest thing in the world? Broken buttercream, sigh.)

That's my jam!My favorite part of the evening was when that aforementioned 15 year old on the couch opened my new Readymade magazine and my friend and party guest Joseph’s glasses — not his spectacles — his Govino glasses, his cool, reusable/recyclable wine glasses were featured on one of the pages. (He hadn’t seen it yet.)

It was so fun to see our little slice of St. Helena life, our little piece of housewarming cozy, our friend’s success bubble up into a celebration for us all.
(Tip #10 Record the moments that make your party special.)

Dottie is munching

3 thoughts on “A Very Hearn Housewarming

  1. 1
    Ernest says:

    Seeing those goodies made me drool. I was amazed that you just had housewarming party. I would love to have housewarming party as well. But I think i need more to for the planning. Do you have any idea what perfect treats can I offer my guests? Thanks in advance. I really appreciate the gesture. By the way, I like the plant that you have for housewarming. Would love to add that to my collection

  2. 2
    ESully says:

    Great festival d’Hearnseses! That house got properly warmed up. Next time? I stay longer.

  3. 3
    Annah says:

    Geez! All that gfood looks delicious. I love the bread and soup idea 🙂 My housewarming consisted of this: Chips and dip, 20 sandwiches which I thought no one would eat, and 10 bottles of Grey Goose Vodka. 55 people showed up (some of them I didn’t even know). They drank all the vodka, ate all the sandwiches, ate cereal from my cupboard and it was a great time (minus the guy who threw up and clogged my toilet). Happy housewarming!


Hooray for replies!